Virtuosity in Babbitt's "Lonely Flute"
Listeners to Milton Babbitt's music have criticized it for being excessively abstract or perceptually random. Performers of Babbitt's work have often expressed similar attitudes, feeling straight-jacketed by the score's specificity on the one hand, or glossing over detailed accuracy on the other. The complaints from both sides imply that the rigor of Babbitt's music precludes expressivity and freedom of interpretation. This paper argues that Babbitt's music finds an astonishing richness of expression within and because of its constraints, and that performers can similarly find interpretive freedom within the confines of the notated score. Only by exploring this interpretive freedom can performers communicate the compositional freedom expressed in Babbitt's works. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]